So, quite few of you have taken a little bit of a liking to our hiking series that we’ve started posting, on the home page of tadandmel.com. Well, many of the hikes we’ve taken have all spawned from one book that Mel picked up months ago. I remember this because when she showed it to me that day at Borders, I looked it over and checked out the copyright date on it. I snickered.
“What?” she said.
“This book came out in ’97 honey… that’s a decade ago.”
To which she replied “I know, but how much could’ve changed since then.” I reluctantly agreed and besides, we hadn’t really found a good book as of yet that focused on trails just in the Triangle.
But, I think in both of our heads, we answered her question exactly the same.
In the weeks and months later, the book has served us well. Most of the maps were spot on and so were the descriptions of the trails. I had almost forgotten how dated the book was until this weekend when we headed over to a trail that snaked around the Jordan Lake area, not too far from the Poplar Point recreational park. We found a pull off around where the trail head appeared to start and parked. It was completely unmarked and a newly dug, unfinished road cut right across the trail near the beginning of it. All of these were pretty obvious signs that something was amiss, but there was still a pretty good trail in front of us, with easy to read blazes on the trees, so we kept going.
About a mile in, it was painfully obvious that this trail hadn’t been frequented in a while, and by “a while” I mean possibly years. The trails were covered in a thick layer of pine needles, trees had fallen across foot paths and hadn’t been dealt with, and the further we went, the thinner the trail got. The hike then became a little bit of a game. When the trail path completely disappeared, we’d stop and see if we could find the next blaze. We knew when the trail blazes were nil we’d just turn around and head back. When they did finally fizzle out, it was a little cause for concern. We were in a part of the woods that, in every direction, looked exactly the same with no discernible trail at all.
In short, our adventure had come to a complete stop.
If we kept going we totally would’ve gotten lost, we were already bush-whacking, and being that Mel was getting hungry and we only had two water bottles to drink from, we decided to head back. The only thing was, is that we lost the blazes a couple of times on the way back; which is incredibly bad. When that happened we were, for all intents and purposes, lost. We eventually found them (obviously) but not with out a little sheepishly confessed worriment amongst the two of us once we got back on the trail.
We ended up hiking only 3 miles roughly. But those were some of the slowest 3 miles I’ve ever hiked! Needless to say, it was nice to get back to the car relatively fast.
You’d think that the outing would be classified as a complete failure but it was quite the opposite. We had a great time and it wasn’t until the end of the trek, that we got a little worried. Other than that, it was great being outdoors on such a beautiful day, exploring instead of just following an obvious trail. I was really proud of the two of us. It could’ve been much worse. Mel and I have never been in that situation before and it was nice to see that we kept our wits and didn’t bicker one bit. We just put our heads together and figured it out.
That said, I knew we couldn’t get hopelessly lost. I had my cell phone on me (for some reason), we knew generally where Jordan Lake was, and I could hear traffic on the state road near by.
But still, you never know what will happen in those situations.
I’m just glad everything turned out positive, neither of us got hurt and we made it back with much of the day to spare. Both with smiles on our faces!
Always an adventure…. 😀